Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bob Bavier Team Race Regatta

Seven brave Michigan sailors made the trek to Charleston, South Carolina, this past weekend to compete in their first regatta of the season, the Bob Bavier Team Race hosted by the College of Charleston. Baseline Lake is still frozen over, but lack of practice did not deter this group. Ryan Seago, Matt Graham, Tom Etheridge, Connor Shope, and Katie Bill and I left snowy Ann Arbor at noon on Friday and started on the 14-hour drive to Charleston. Along the way, we picked up Karinne Smolenyak who is studying in DC for the semester.
We arrived in Charleston at a reasonable hour of day, 3:30 am. Two alumni families graciously volunteered to host our team for the weekend and were kind enough to wait up for us at this late hour. I was one of the four team members who stayed with Kevin Verner and the other three team members stayed with Dave Williams. This was my fifth away regatta on the Michigan Sailing team, and both hosts were very hospitable. Our hosts would wake up before us each morning a prepare breakfast for us and chat with us about the regatta. Saturday night, Katie and I sat with Kevin for two hours, sharing stories about the University of Michigan.
College of Charleston
Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early, collected our team and headed over to the nearby Charleston Harbor. It was pouring rain when we arrived at 9am and there was no wind, so the first round robin was postponed on shore until 1:45 p.m. The competition for the regatta included some of the best teams in the country, including Georgetown, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the U.S. Naval Academy, College of Charleston, Yale, Stanford, Eckerd College, South Florida, and Miami (Fla.). After the rain had stopped and the wind had picked up to about 8-15 knots, our team hopped into the FJs for the first time since November and started the first round robin. It was difficult to compete against the other varsity teams that had been practicing for the past month, and we were mostly fleet racing our competitors. However it was a great practice being in boats again. Despite our losses, by the end of the day, the crews and skippers had shaken off their cobwebs and began to perform better. That night, the team ventured into downtown Charleston to dine together at a local favorite, Santis.  
The team arrived at the harbor Sunday morning, eager to prove themselves. Decreasing clouds and sunshine made for great racing on Sunday as four races were completed using the Cooper River Cross Current Double Modified Port Triangle in a strong ebb tide and a northwesterly ranging from 5-10 knots. We were able to actually start team racing our competitors due to our refreshed boat handling skills. With each race we got better and better. The weather was awesome as well, sunny and 67 degrees! By our third race of the day, we were in heated competition with our opponent, Yale. It was an extremely close race and Connor, the alternate crew reported that it had all the spectators on the dock talking. Entering our final race with a boost of confidence we were able to defeat Eckerd in decisive fashion. We sunbathed and took in the beautiful scenery of the harbor (and of our small victory), then headed back home at around 1 pm. We arrived Ann Arbor well into the AM, content from another great regatta.                                                      
-Sophie Lucente ‘16

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mid-Winter Update

February 16th Crisler Cleanup
Despite the absence of sailing due to the frozen condition of Baseline Lake, over the past two months the sailing team has been very active. Throughout January and February the team has found a multitude of events to keep the team together and in my opinion, has created a sense of family between members. The annual Strictly Sail boat show kept the team busy for the first 3 weeks of the year, but since then our team has continued to socialize and obtain new sailing knowledge even though we are unable to sail. Over the last 4 weeks during our weekly Monday meetings we have had 20 minute chalk talks presented three times by Will Cyr '14 and another chalk talk presented by Kirsten Corneliussen '13 and Chris Cyr '16. (You can view these chalk-talks and power-points on our youtube channel These presentations have been geared towards our beginner sailors to help them develop new skills which will help them perform better in the spring. In addition, since the start of the new semester we had had many social gatherings on weekends, team cafeteria dinners, and even a cleanup of Crisler Arena last weekend which raised $300 for our team. Just by talking to team members over the past week, I can tell that the team is very enthusiastic to start sailing and continue to build on the success of 2012. 
-Ryan Seago '14 

Sunday, February 03, 2013

2013 Strictly Sail and MCSA Banquet

Liz Smith '14 and David Oliver '14 working the booth
On Wednesday January 23rd the sailing team's executive board braved the blizzard conditions of I-94 to work a booth at the annual Strictly Sail Chicago, the Midwest’s premier sailboat show located inside Navy Pier in downtown Chicago.  Throughout the four day event at Navy Pier, our team sold merchandise which included t-shirts, hats and burgees at our booth to help fundraise for the upcoming year. Throughout the weekend the team was very excited to see so many supportful alumni, family and friends who stopped by our booth, and the alumni who stopped by our luncheon at the D4 Irish Pub on Saturday afternoon.

MCSA R/C Match Racing Championship
On Friday night, 20 of our other team members arrived to attend the sailboat show which included seminars, sailing apparel sales, numerous new sailboats, a winch grinding competition, remote controlled sailboats and much more. On Saturday our team captains Ryan Davidson, David Oliver and MCSA liaison Will Cyr attended important MCSA meetings pertaining to the 2013 year. Also, they selected the MCSA regattas for our team to compete in for upcoming year. In addition, MCSA liaison Will Cyr was elected as the Equipment Information Coordinator at the 2013 MCSA board elections and won the remote controlled match racing regatta!

On Saturday night, the team attended the 2013 MCSA banquet held this year at Marcello's, a restaurant located in Lincoln Park. The banquet atmosphere very enjoyable and it was definitely a pleasure to see all of our close MCSA friends in the middle of the 3 month winter off-season from MCSA sailing. At the banquet our team enjoyed the benefits of having an all-around fantastic 2012 sailing year. Out of the 5 annual MCSA team championship trophies awarded at the banquet, the team won 3 of them: Match race, Women’s and Timme Angsten.  Furthermore, our team had 9 all-district sailors, which was the most out of any team. Team members on the all-district team include: Crews- Amanda Baker ’12, Evelyn Hull ’12, Kirsten Corneliussen ’13 and Elizabeth Wallace ’14. Skippers- Rachel Barch ’13, Matt Graham ’13, Ellen Dubois ’14, Ryan Seago ’14 and Will Cyr ’14. After an enjoyable weekend of attending Strictly Sail, the MCSA banquet and socializing with our MCSA friends, the team left the windy city on Sunday and is ready to have a fantastic 2013 year!
-Ryan Seago '14